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Genital Herpes - Home Treatment

To reduce discomfort from herpes sores:

  • Take warm sitz baths or wash the area with warm water 3 or 4 times a day.
  • In between sitz baths, keep the sores clean and dry.
  • Using a hair dryer to dry off the sores may be more comfortable than using a towel.
  • Wear cotton underpants, which absorb moisture better than those made from synthetic material.

Nonprescription medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), may reduce the pain and fever from genital herpes.

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To lower the risk of recurrent outbreaks, reduce or avoid things that trigger outbreaks, such as fatigue, stress, overexposure to sun, and irritation of the genital area.

Coping with your feelings

Finding out that you have genital herpes may cause you to have negative thoughts or feelings about yourself or about sex, such as:

  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
  • Being afraid of the consequences of the infection.
  • Being angry at the person who infected you.
  • Feeling frustrated with treatment or recurrent outbreaks.
  • Feeling scared to have sex.

A counselor or support groups for people with herpes may be helpful.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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